Options for Infertile Couples
The infertility treatments are dragging on, there’s no baby in sight, and having a child feels more important than ever. There are options for infertile couples other than having their own biological child, such as adoption and foster care. The key to utilizing non-medical options for infertile couples is to get out of the mindset that a baby has to share your DNA to be truly a part of your family. Families are created in many ways, and it is the love that binds you, not your double-helix.
Adoption & Foster Care: Great Choices for Infertile Couples
Adopting a baby or a child can be the most wonderful and rewarding experience of your life. There are so many babies, children, and adolescents in the United States and around the world who need a family. You can give a child the gift of a family and share amazing experiences with them. There are two types of adoptions:
1. Open adoption – The birth mother (and possibly the birth father) know something about the adoptive parents, and possibly had a hand in choosing you. They might even meet and exchange names or addresses with you, and have contact with you, i.e. yearly on the child’s birthday.
2. Closed adoption – The birth mother and adoptive parents do not meet each other or know each other’s names.
While the result is rewarding, adoption can be a long and stressful process. It can be time-consuming because you have to go through psychological exams, counseling, paperwork, attorneys, etc. There are lots of agencies offering adoption services. You have to check their background before dealing with them and start giving away your money. Some adoption agencies are more serious than others and scams are easily found and very real. Adoption can also be a very costly process, especially when adopting out of the country. And adoptions can also take years to process from start to finish.
Because adoption is so competitive (there are 3.3 potential adoptive families for every actual adoption), foster care is something for infertile couples to consider. Unlike adoption, foster care is usually a temporary arrangement in response to crises in the lives of children and families. Many foster children have been abused or neglected, and as a result removed via a court order. These children need a good home, sometimes for a short time and sometimes for an extended period. You could make a serious impact by opening your arms and your hearts and inviting them into your lives. Even though foster care is viewed as a temporary service, many children have to stay in foster care for long periods of time. It can even be the first step to adopting a child. When you apply to be foster parents, you can also apply to be approved for adoption at the same time. Should a foster child in your home become available for adoption, you could be approved as the adoptive family, for a child who has already become part of your family.
What have your experiences been like as infertile couples? Have you fostered or adopted? Please share!